For British fashion model of Moroccan heritage Nora Attal and director/photographer Victor Bastidas, love came by chance, as it often does, on a day when the duo least expected it. “We first met on location, at the Samode Palace in Jaipur, India with Mario Testino, Anastasia Barberi and Charlotte Tilbury,” says the model, whose face has become a fashion mainstay, thanks to her vibrant career, which has seen her working with every brand from Gucci and Chanel to Stella McCartney, Etro and MaxMara. “But it wasn’t until years later in London that we connected. It was music that connected us, Thom York to be precise.”
“We started seeing each other at the end of 2019,” Attal elaborates during a candid chat with Vogue Arabia. “I went to an event that Victor organized for MUBI… we would go to see exhibitions. I joined him to see the Yves Saint Laurent documentary The Last Collections by Olivier Meyrou at the London Film Festival. It was different then, we just did things without thinking too much about it. I was traveling a lot, so we would see each other periodically, or he would come to visit me in Paris or Milan.”
And just like that, Attal and Bastidas’s relationship blossomed into one that would change their lives. “In February 2020 before I went to New York for Fashion Week, he asked me to be his girlfriend,” she tells us. “From then, we wanted to go away to celebrate his birthday, and I wanted a little break after the stretch of doing Fashion Week in all four cities, so we took off to Antigua… Some word about the virus was going around while we were there, but we were so in love that all we cared about was being together away from everything. The time we spent together was serene, getting to know each other, driving around the island, reading, taking photos, long sunsets.”
Given their seamless chemistry, it was only a matter of time before Nora Attal and Victor Bastidas sealed the deal. And just like their relationship—easy, effortless and simple—was the intimate proposal, which Attal describes as traditional. “Our families are both traditional in some ways,” she shares. “Victor asked me one day when we were together in lockdown, and his father flew to London and met with my family. A couple of days later, his father asked my father for my hand in marriage, and that’s where it all started. A couple of months went by and we were away in Formentera… it was very tranquil and quiet on the island. Walking along a beach, Victor went down on one knee.” And the rest is history.
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The intimate Spain wedding
“[The wedding] was quite intimate, mainly family and close friends,” the bride tells us. “We wanted to make it small. We thought that too many people might make it hard for us to enjoy. So we asked our closest friends to join us in celebrating. It was such a magical evening.” While planning the special day, the couple focused on three main factors: good music, a dance floor that can accommodate all their guests, and making sure that their nearest and dearest could make it to the celebration. “It was so beautiful to dance to salsa, the Arabic hits, Arab funk, and the classics… everyone was so happy and we had such a great time,” Attal shares. “The ceremony was modern. We had an officiator who was great, and we chose to honor our mothers. This is actually a Spanish tradition where the mothers both light a candle, and the candles are used to light one in a sign of union which I find beautiful, and I thought would be a nice touch.”
Along with the main ceremony, another event that stands out for Attal is her engagement party. “Victor organized our engagement party in Ecuador with all his family. This trip was crazy as the night before we flew, the UK government announced a new strain and lockdown. We literally didn’t sleep, rushed to the airport, left the UK and spent the rest of the month until late January in Ecuador. The party was so beautiful under the broad sky of the Ecuadorian countryside. Victor has a big family and is very close to them and they all came to celebrate with us with, of course, lots of dancing.”
The bride’s dreamy wedding gown
No wedding day is truly complete without the perfect wedding dress, and Nora Attal’s special day was no exception. For her Spanish nuptials, the model opted for a romantic ivory Lanvin gown with skinny straps, that skimmed over her body before spilling out into panels of delicate lace. “I wish it had been my idea [to opt for Lanvin], but I actually had the luck of having [fashion editor, stylist and creative consultant] Carlos Nazario be the one who helped me decide,” she explains. “After I got engaged, Carlos offered to help with my dress, and after some conversations and sending my references, he showed me the vibe of the latest Lanvin collection. From there, Carlos and Lanvin’s creative director Bruno Sialelli worked on a sketch and put together the dress.”
The true mark of a job well done is a dress that brings a tear to the eye, and in Attal’s case, it was a match made in heaven. “I am in love with the dress,” she gushes. “It is all mainly hand crafted, from the color—which was dyed to create the specific color we wanted—to the horsehair lace at the bottom of the dress. We decided on natural pearls that were hand sewn onto the lace pattern, which was Bruno’s touch of delicacy. We also made the back of the dress super low for a more modern twist. which I love,” she explains.
“Going to the Lanvin office in Paris to try on the mock up dress with Bruno and his team, and seeing Bruno work on the last tweaks was such a beautiful moment,” she recalls. “I cried when I saw it. Working with Bruno, Carlos and the team at Lanvin on this dress is still a dream.”